“All for you, Hippocrates,” says Leavitt, handing Hall a glass of brown liquid.
“Not your own venom?” replies Hall, taking the glass. He drinks it. “Tastes like orange juice,” he says.
“Nutrient Forty-Two Five,” says Stone. “Developed for the astronauts. Eight ounces satisfy all daily nutritional requirements.”
“Except coffee,” says Hall, walking over to the closed kitchen panels.
“And lipid-soluable vitamins,” adds Leavitt.
“For that, we have these,” replies Stone, opening the lid of a small dish. “Help yourself,” he says to Leavitt.
“So, what’s the point of a cafeteria?” asks Hall.
“Well,” says Stone, “Wildfire isn’t always on crash status.”
“Then, maybe there’s some sugar still around,” says Hall, looking at the kitchen panels.
“Nope,” says Dutton, “Nothing that might provide a bacterial growth medium.”
“Precisely,” says Stone. “No sugar in the gut.”
“Oh, I’d like a cigarette right now,” says Leavitt, “It’s after meals you really miss ’em.”
“Then you should have no trouble on Level Five,” says Stone. “You won’t even get this close to a meal. We’ll be entirely on high-protein nutrients.”
“I’ve planned our work in three stages,” continues Stone. “One: detection. First step is to confirm that an organism is present. Two: characterization. How is it structured? How does it work? And three: control. How to contain and-“